University of Oregon fires football coach Mark Helfrich - KPTV - FOX 12

University of Oregon fires football coach Mark Helfrich

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Mark Helfrich, KPTV file image Mark Helfrich, KPTV file image
Mark Helfrich, KPTV file image Mark Helfrich, KPTV file image
EUGENE, OR (KPTV) -

The University of Oregon has fired head football coach Mark Helfrich.

The university announced the decision Tuesday night. Athletic director Rob Mullens released a statement saying the Ducks were making "a change in leadership in the football program."

A timeline for hiring a replacement was not immediately announced, but during a press conference Tuesday night, Mullens said they will look outside of their current staff and use a search firm to find the next coach.

During the press conference, Mullens said over the last several months he had growing concern over the direction of the program. He said they looked at what happens on the field and off the field when making the decision.

"We want to thank Mark for his eight years with the University of Oregon and appreciate his efforts on behalf of Oregon football," Mullens said in a statement. "We wish Mark and his family the best."

Helfrich coached the Ducks to a 37-16 record after taking over from Chip Kelly in 2013. After reaching the College Football Playoff championship game after the 2014 regular season, the Ducks fell to 9-4 in 2015 and then 4-8 this season, which ended Saturday in Oregon's first loss to Oregon State in nearly a decade.

"It is a great honor to have served as the head football coach at the University of Oregon," Helfrich said in a statement released by the university. "It is with respect and disappointment that we receive this decision. Plain and simple - we didn't win enough games this season."

The Ducks saw several significant streaks end in 2016, including their winning streak in the Civil War.

Oregon failed to make a bowl and suffered a losing season for the first time since 2004, and saw an Autzen Stadium sellout streak that began in 1999 end at 110 consecutive home games, according to the athletic department. The Ducks lost at least eight games for the first time since 1991.

Helfrich spent four seasons as offensive coordinator for the Ducks before taking over as head coach for Kelly, who left for the NFL.   

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